Michelle D. Bernard: Women’s History Month Event Rescheduled

by Michelle D. Bernard

The Security Assistance Command will hold this year’s Women’s History Month observance for the Team Redstone Equal Employment Opportunity Office on April 20 at 10 a.m. in Bob Jones Auditorium. This event was rescheduled from March.

The theme of this year’s Women’s History Month observance is “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives.”

The observance honors the accomplishments and contributions of women from the past and recognizes their impact on the force of today. This is a time each year for everyone to reflect on the pioneering efforts women have made to make this nation strong, as well as inform and educate people about the important roles and contributions that women have played in this nation’s history.

The keynote speaker is Michelle D. Bernard, a lawyer, political and policy analyst media commentator, author and president and chief executive officer of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics and Public Policy.

“As we celebrate women’s history month, let us have the courage, like those brave women who came before us, to challenge immoral and unjust laws,” Bernard said in describing a mother who had challenged a law concerning public schools.

In January Bernard was awarded the Anvil of Freedom Award for journalism and democracy by the University of Denver’s Edward W. and Charlotte A. Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media. She was named as a “Rising Star” in the November 2014 issue of Essence magazine on its annual “Money & Power” list.

Bernard is a political analyst on CNN and MSNBC, and regularly appears on shows such as “Real Time with Bill Maher” and “The McLaughlin Group.”

The April 20 event will also include the presentation of awards to the Women’s History Month essay and display contest winners.

For more information about the program, call Terrian Hicks at 450-5628.


Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Presidential Election & Women in Politics

by Michelle D. Bernard

Attorney, author and political activist Michelle Bernard spoke at the Memorial Union on March 31. She talked about how Iowa is important to politics, how women are becoming more prevalent in the political world and how people see women's issues. "We need more women's voices and we need them running at the national level," Bernard said. The event was sponsored by the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics.

Attorney, author and political activist Michelle Bernard spoke at the Memorial Union on March 31. She talked about how Iowa is important to politics, how women are becoming more prevalent in the political world and how people see women’s issues. “We need more women’s voices and we need them running at the national level,” Bernard said. The event was sponsored by the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics.

Posted: Wednesday, April 1, 2015 12:00 am

By Mariah Anderson,

Michelle Bernard, an attorney, author and political analyst, touched on bipartisanship, the importance of women’s voices in government, the possibility of Hillary Clinton running for president and other issues in her lecture at the Memorial Union on Tuesday night.

Bernard, who often serves as a legal and political analyst on MSNBC, continually stressed the importance of women continuing to run for public office and run until they win.

 “We need more women’s voices and we need them running at the national level,” Bernard said.

Bernard also addressed sexism in the media, especially as it is related to female politicians. She touched on body shaming, fashion policing and stereotyping in the media. Bernard suggested that anyone who disagrees with how women are portrayed in the media should first “vote with their remote control,” or refuse to give viewership to programs that portray women in a way they find sexist, and second, always call out instances of sexism.

With the 2016 presidential race approaching, Hillary Clinton, who is expected to announce her candidacy, was a hot topic, both in Bernard’s speech and in the following question and answer session. Bernard expects Clinton to run, and said she believes Clinton should announce her campaign in Iowa. While Bernard said she does not consider herself to be on the “Hillary bandwagon,” she said she felt Clinton is ready to run.

Megan Danielson, junior in advertising and communications studies, expressed appreciation for Bernard addressing campus rape, an issue Danielson said she believes to be very important to ISU students. Bernard said campus rape was a “horrific crime.”

Kat Hemken, junior in public service and administration in agriculture, said she was glad Bernard brought up how women govern differently than men, but wished she would have gone more in-depth.

Bernard mentioned how women in Washington have recently been doing a lot of bipartisan work, especially on the topics of military rape and immigration rights, by reaching across the aisle and finding common ground. Hemken said she’d done a lot of reading on the subject, and thinks Bernard missed some important points.

Bernard remained optimistic about the present and future of women in politics and said she “[chooses] to look at it as the glass half-full.”

“We are moving forward and not looking back, Bernard said.”

Bernard’s lecture was part of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center’s Mary Louise Smith Chair, which brings prominent women leaders to the university once or twice a year to speak about politics.


Michelle Bernard to discuss how women are changing politics on March 31

by Michelle D. Bernard

Attorney, author and political analyst Michelle D. Bernard – who is the founder, president and CEO of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics and Public Policy – will speak March 31 at Iowa State University as the spring 2015 Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics.

She will present “How American Women are Changing Politics” at 7:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union’s Sun Room. The presentation – which is sponsored by the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, and the Committee on Lectures – is free and open to the public.

“Bernard, who describes herself as right of center, is known for her analysis of a variety of political and public policy issues, both domestic and foreign,” said Dianne Bystrom, Catt Center director. “In October 2014, she was named a rising star by Essence magazine for promoting social justice for people of color and minorities—particularly women.”

In the Essence article, Bernard said: “I do my best to be a voice for those who have no voice in the most important political and policy debates.” She uses mass media outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, the Huffington Post, YouTube and Twitter to delve into issues.

An attorney by training, Bernard is a frequent political and legal analyst on MSNBC; appears regularly on “The McLaughlin Group”; is a guest commentator on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered”; and is a contributor for the Huffington Post and the Washington Post’s “She the People.” She also has appeared on CNN’s “The Situation Room”; FOX News’ “America’s Newsroom,” “Hannity and Colmes” and “The O’Reilly Factor”; and HBO’s “The Bill Maher Show.” On Jan. 23, 2015, Bernard was awarded the Anvil of Freedom Award for journalism and democracy by the University of Denver’s Edward W. and Charlotte A. Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media.

Bernard is the author of “Moving America Toward Justice: The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, 1963-2013” and “Women’s Progress: How Women are Wealthier, Healthier and More Independent Than Ever Before.” She also contributed a chapter on “Powerful Beyond Measure” for the 2010 book, “Secrets of Powerful Women: Leading Change for a New Generation.”

Prior to founding the Bernard Center for Women, Politics and Public Policy, she served as president and CEO of the Independent Women’s Forum and practiced law as a partner in the Washington, D.C., firm of Patton Boggs LLP. Bernard holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and political science from Howard University and a law degree from Georgetown University.


Speaker for Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast sees “A War on Black Boys”

by Michelle D. Bernard

Six years after a black family moved into the White House, Bernard, 51, who is black, considers the country more racially polarized than any time she can remember.

A frequent guest on MSNBC and CNN, Bernard said in a phone interview she thinks an anti-Obama backlash is partly responsible for a retreat in civil rights and social justice.

Seeing a black man take charge of the world’s most powerful nation, she said, left a “nasty taste in the mouths of some.”

Bernard will have an opportunity to elaborate when she speaks here Monday, Jan. 19 at the 27th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast sponsored by the Crispus Attucks Community Center, named for a black man killed in the 1770 Boston Massacre.

More than 240 years later, the national spotlight is once again on black men dying at the hands of civil authorities, spurring protests by the Black Lives Matter movement, including a recent die-in at Park City mall.

On cable TV, Bernard has chosen provocative words to express her dismay at the unpunished killings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and other black men.

“It is an absolutely deplorable situation that the United States, which is supposed to be the greatest nation on Earth, sits back and allows black boys to be murdered,” Bernard said on MSNBC’s “Hardball” a week after a white police officer shot the unarmed Brown at least six times.

“There is a war on black boys in this country. In my opinion, there is a war on African-American men,” Bernard said on the show.

In a recent phone interview, Bernard didn’t back away from her comments.

“The fact that he was tall and large and allegedly stole a cigarillo doesn’t mean Michael Brown should be shot down dead,” said Bernard, a former Washington attorney and lobbyist. “That to me is war.”

She said she was shaken when her son, while watching the news, turned and said, “Mom, is a policeman going to shoot me?”

“I thought I was going to cry,” Bernard recalled. “No child should feel that way. I would be remiss and irresponsible as a mother if I didn’t teach the reality of the world we live in.”

Stresses education

She said her son’s question prompted a long discussion in which she stressed education.

“From my perspective, if he has equal access to an excellent education and strives for excellence, he will always be safe,” Bernard said. “But I don’t know that to be true for certain.”

Bernard said she once pushed back against criticism that Obama wasn’t doing enough for black America. Now she thinks she may have been wrong.

“Maybe there is more the president can do in his last two years instead of worrying about people who antagonize him,” she said. “Maybe he needs to focus on what’s important for people of color and underserved communities.”

She said more must be done to improve inner-city education, ending “the school-to-prison pipeline, with one minor infraction and you’re in prison.”

Bernard said she doubts having more black officers helps communities living under “a police state.”

“African-American cops can be a problem also if we have a type of police force that’s militarized or looking for any excuse to be cowboys and shoot someone,” she said.

Cheryl Holland-Jones, Crispus Attucks’ executive director, said some will not agree with Bernard, but the theme of her remarks, “The Journey to Justice,” is appropriate given “the series of events that have taken place.”

“The journey we are on is to restore faith in each other,” Holland-Jones said. “Hopefully, her talk will lead us to conversations with some solutions to neutralize the animosity.”

“We hope all our speakers will leave the audience feeling they have been given a mission to move forward and to do something positive in the community in which we all live,” she said.

If you go

Time: 7 to 9 a.m.

Place: Franklin & Marshall College Alumni Sports & Fitness Center

Cost: $70. Scholarships available.

Benefits: Crispus Attucks Community Center.

Emcee: Ron Martin, WGAL news anchor.

Honorary chair: Barbara Hough Roda, LNP executive editor.

Performances: F&M’s I Have A Dream Choir and Music for Everyone Strings at Crispus Attucks.

Event sponsor: Franklin & Marshall

Dream Maker sponsors: Fulton Bank, Hagelgans & Veronis, High Companies, LNP Media Group, NXTbook Media, Steinman Foundation

By JEFF HAWKES | Staff Writer | Posted: Tuesday, December 23, 2014 9:57 am


12 YEARS A SLAVE Town Hall at Howard University

by Michelle D. Bernard



Reflections on life and politics

by Michelle D. Bernard



Loomis Chaffee Campus News: Michelle Bernard Talks Politics

by Michelle D. Bernard

Michelle Bernard Talks Politics
Posted 10/12/2012 04:45PM

Michelle Bernard, political and legal analyst, author, and CEO of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy, captivated the LC community Friday afternoon with her perspective on the upcoming election and state of politics in the U.S. She spoke to students and faculty about the game of politics and how it has evolved over the last four years. “Politics is getting nastier and nastier,” she cautioned. Constant fighting between the democrats and the republicans has shifted the focus of elected officials to the destruction of the rival party and away from helping people and communities in real need.

Bernard spent time discussing one such community, Berry Farms, in Washington D.C. The community is populated primarily by women – the great majority of whom live below the poverty line, have no access to grocery stores, and no modes of transportation. She told listeners how a resident once said, “I’ve heard stories of women who kill their babies – and I can understand why they do it.” Bernard warned the audience that while the presidential candidates fight for the middle class, there are groups of underprivileged citizens, like the residents of Berry Farms, in desperate need of help.

In response to one student’s question, Bernard explained that the bipartisan political system works in name only. She argued that we need elected officials to do what is best for the country and not what is best for their respective parties. Bernard believes that strict term limits are one way to accomplish this. She proposes one-term restrictions, with no option for reelection. Under this model the president would serve one eight-year term, a senator would serve one six-year term, and a congressman would serve one two-year term. This format would allow elected officials to make decisions and do their job without worrying about reelection and fundraising.

Bernard’s advice to the students: Be informed. She encouraged students to read and watch everything. Understanding all sides of an issue and argument is essential to informed citizenship and good decision-making.

Ms. Bernard will be featured as one of the headliners for the CT Forum’s State of Women 2012 event tonight at 8 p.m. in the Bushnell Auditorium,


Honoring Nancy Pelosi’s 25th Year In Congress

by Michelle D. Bernard


Rachel Maddow, host of “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC, will speak with Leader Pelosi about her experiences and achievements throughout her notable career.

Special remarks by Michelle D. Bernard, chairman, founder, president and CEO of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy and on the Board of Directors at the National Women’s History Museum.

For more information and to purchase tickets click here


The Struggle Continues: Parents and Families Education Equality Now Rally

by Michelle D. Bernard

March 14, 2012
3:00 PM

Connecticut State Capitol,
Hartford, Connecticut


Michelle D. Bernard
Bernard Center for Women,
Politics & Public Policy

Michelle Rhee
Founder and CEO,
Students First

Kelley Williams-Bolar
School Choice Advocate and
Ohio Parents Union

Download a printable version of the flyer (PDF)